Merkel counters industry's economic policy criticism, says companies deceived public trust
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has launched a verbal “counter attack” following harsh criticism by the influential industry lobby group BDI for a lack of clear economic policy course at its “Industry Day". However, Merkel's retort was well-received by industry representatives at the conference , writes Nikolaus Doll in Die Welt. Among other things, BDI head Dieter Kempf had said a CO₂ price could help protect the climate, but it should not be introduced too hastily. The government should think the concept through. Merkel replied that usually the industry calls for decisions to be made yesterday. “Here, we’re supposed to slow down a bit.” Kempf also criticised that the grand coalition had gambled away trust by business, which prompted the chancellor to reply that her government was in office for a little over a year now and “I don't want to talk about how much time it took me to deal with the loss of confidence and the breaches of regulations by the German car industry”. Trust in the federal government is just as important as trust in the industry, said Merkel.
In a landmark study, the BDI said last year that protecting the climate can be good for the economy. An increasing number of energy-intensive companies also say they are ready for decarbonisation, but lament a lag in policymaking.